I only realized yesterday I never filled you all in on my trip to Tassie last week with Katie that I met in the Hunter Valley. I took an early early morning flight (I left the house at 4:15 a.m.) for my direct flight to the charming small city of Hobart (direct flights are the way to go, unless you want to spend 6 hours in transit when the flight from Sydney to Hobart is 2). I got to town really early and couldn’t check in to the YHA there, so I had a few hours to walk around. I had heard about Lark Distillery, and as I am keen on a good bourbon or whisk(e)y now and again, I was eager to visit–lo and behold, it was a whole two blocks from the hostel! Their website said they only did tours around 2 or 2:30, but I dropped in and asked and they put me in a tour happening at 12:30 that day. I had a quick lunch before returning for the “tour,” which was a little informal for my taste. Not only does the distillery do whiskeys, but they do gin and vodka as well. The whiskeys were not at all what I was used to, but I enjoyed them all the same and bought some as a souvenir. Later that evening, Katie and I met up for dinner in Salamanca Place, a strip full of bars and restaurants just near the Brooke St wharf.
The next day, Katie and I got breakfast and decided to visit the world-renowned MONA, or Museum of Old and New Art. I had heard that the ferry ride alone was amazing, and it was pretty great. It’s oddly swanky for a ferry, which makes it all the more fun, and the scenery is gorgeous as well. It’s…an interesting place. I’ve never been much for contemporary “art,” and this was no exception. I actually found the place to be just plain freaky and weird on the inside. Lunch time came around and we made our way to the wine bar and sat outside, as it was a phenomenal day. On one side, the building was bordered by vines, on another, an open field with a giant stage featuring a live jazz band (on a Wednesday afternoon, even!) and dozens upon dozens of cushions welcoming people to grab a drink and get comfy. I was bushed by the time Katie and I got back to the YHA, and I still needed to move from there to The Pickled Frog, a place with a ton of character (as well as cheap coffee and beer–essentials for hostellers!).
Thursday morning Katie and I had breakfast at Doctor Coffee again before she flew back to Melbourne. I had booked a cruise to Peppermint Bay, which included a multi-course lunch once we got there. It was a fabulous day to be on the water. The boat was nice, lunch was delicious, and I chatted with some friendly folks as we ate.
I had booked two tours that would keep me occupied for the whole of Friday, and I had saved the best for that morning. The Pickled Frog provided a free shuttle up Mount Wellington on Wednesdays, but as Katie and I had gone to MONA, I had missed out, so I opted to book a bus tour up the mountain and around town instead. Mount Wellington is situated adjacent to Hobart, so climbing up the mountain, you get brilliant views of the city. Being on the mountain was absolutely breathtaking. There were almost no clouds, just a slight haze over the surrounding area. In the afternoon, another tour took me to Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary for me to see the local fauna, including Tasmanian devils (what’s a trip to Tassie without seeing them, right?).
Saturday morning I was up early enough to get breakfast and wander around the market at Salamanca Place. The markets didn’t actually open until 9, by which time I’d already be back at the airport, but I did manage to procure a local dark chocolate-macadamia nut bar for myself and a pretty nice Tasmanian devil stuffed animal for a friend.
I was really glad Katie had invited me to Tasmania, as otherwise I might not have gone. To be honest, I’m a bit burned out on hostelling and living out of a suitcase, and so I’m heading back to the States at the end of the month. But Tasmania was a fantastic place to take one last trip before going home. Thanks Katie!
Until next time!